Indian Pink: Summer Flowers for Shade
The Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica) are in bloom right now in the shady back garden. This is a useful and unusual plant for a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s one of relatively few perennial shade plant that blooms in summer. Woodland perennials typically bloom in spring or, less often, in fall.
Since it emerges fairly late, Indian Pink can take over as spring-blooming ephemerals fade away. I’ve recently planted a bunch of Indian Pinks along the far side of the patio where Siberian Squill (Scilla sibirica), Trilliums, and Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) dominate in April and May.
Indian Pinks have tubular red flowers that end in a five-pointed yellow star. Given their shape, it’s not surprising that they are attractive to hummingbirds. This plant normally flowers in June and July, but deadheading will extend the bloom period.
This plant likes moist soil but in my garden does fairly well in a raised bed with dryish soil and plenty of root competition. It’s native to most of the southeast and parts of the lower midwest. It seems perfectly hardy in Chicago.
Do you have a favorite shade perennial for summer blooms?